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HIST 29639: The Cartographic Imagination in America

A guide to library resources for students in Professor Amy Lippert's class (Fall 2014)

Getting Started With Our Online Request System

All request for Special Collections materials are made using our online circulation request system.  This guide contains tutorials demonstrating how to locate materials in Special Collections, and how to request various formats using the online request system.  If you have not yet created an account, please start with the tutorial below, which shows how to create your account.

Please Note:  The online circulation system does NOT work well with the Chrome browser.  Some requests may not go through properly.  For best results please use Firefox or Safari.


Locate and Request Rare Books and Manuscripts

This tutorial shows how to find rare books using the Library Catalog, and then how to request them for use in the Special Collections Research Center's reading room.

Requesting Archival Materials from Special Collections

How to Search for a Specific Topic in the Archival Collections

Maps in Special Collections

Many of the maps in Special Collections are part of printed works that can be located using search terms just as you would use for non-rare items. However, there are some manuscript collections that do not have finding aids that have maps. Some archival collections also contain maps. Highlights of these holdings are listed here.

Manuscript Collections

Ruben T. Durrett Collection: While no online finding aid exists, we do have a print inventory of the collection. Portions of the collection, including complementary pieces from the Filson Historical Society in Kentucky, have been digitized. The digitized materials, including 18th-century maps and topographical descriptions, can be viewed as part of the First American West: The Ohio River Valley collection.

Eldon R. Burke Map Collection: This collection has no online finding aid, but does have a print inventory available within Special Collections. The collection includes a dozen maps that depict the United States and North America, from the early 18th-19th centuries. 

Archival Collections

Ernest Burgess Papers: Burgess was a Sociologist who mapped populations in Chicago according to qualities such as race, marital status, education, income, criminal activity, among others.  The collection contains these maps, as well as maps of other parts of the country, such as New Orleans.

Edson Sunderland Bastin Papers: Contains 11 United States Geological Survey maps of Wisconsin, many of which have Bastin's notes and drawing on them.

Chauncey Harris Papers Harris received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1940. and spent the entirety of his academic career with the University's Department of Geography. A pioneer in the field of Slavic Studies, Harris specialized in the geography of the Soviet Union, though was equally well-known for his work in the field of urban geography.

Sol Tax Papers Tax was an anthropologist ; of interest for maps are the series including his field research and writing on Middle American and North American Indians (1932-), which also includes maps.

The University of Chicago Department of Geography The University of Chicago's Department of Geography was the first to be established at an American university, with coursework beginning in the 1902-1903 school year. The department continued to define the field of geography throughout the early and mid-twentieth century. This collection contains departmental statistics, reports, student information and other administrative material, as well as an assortment of correspondence, cartographic material and publications.

Contact Special Collections

Have a question about Special Collections or locating materials? Contact us!

Hours and Location

Monday through Friday: 9:00 am to 4:45pm. 

When classes at the University of Chicago are in session, we are open until 5:45pm on Tuesday and Wednesday. We are not open Saturday or Sunday.

The Special Collections Research Center is located on the first floor of Regenstein Library: 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637